For 2015, the City of Vancouver has several opportunities for Vancouver residents to help slow neighborhood traffic and increase pedestrian safety through the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program and a Community Development Block Grant program for ADA curb ramps. The City’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program will allocate approximately $170,000 for traffic calming projects, and a $100,000 grant will help install new curb ramps making them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
The traffic calming program created two project tracks for 2015: 1) project proposals that contain only signing and striping elements; and 2) project proposals that include a physical traffic calming device such as speed cushions, pedestrian refuge islands, curb extensions, radar feedback signs or street trees. As an added bonus for this year, project proposals were also accepted for streets in need of new ADA curb ramps. Each project track will have its own funding allocation and be evaluated on a separate timeline.
In March of 2013, the City of Vancouver, working in conjunction with the Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance (NTSA), launched the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program with tips and possible project opportunities for residents seeking to slow local traffic while creating a more livable community.
The City and the NTSA, an organization of citizen volunteers from Vancouver’s neighborhoods who advocate for neighborhood traffic safety, worked jointly on developing this program. The city had previously phased out its Neighborhood Traffic Management Program in 2010 due to limited resources and budget shortfalls, but continued to look for innovative ways to help neighborhoods throughout Vancouver address concerns about traffic speeds and volumes. Collaborative efforts of NTSA leaders and city staff have led to this program.
The Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program takes a citywide approach to help neighborhood associations manage traffic and address high priority needs within residential areas. This program has been set up with limited resources to allow residents to take the initiative when seeking traffic calming solutions while providing the most benefit for their neighborhoods and community.
A step-by-step guide and toolbox of possible traffic calming methods help neighborhoods through the process, beginning with interested residents attending a Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance meeting, submitting a pre-application and circulating an informal petition to show neighborhood support. This is a competitive process that allows residents to apply for limited program funding.